My grandson, Everett, played quietly in the next room. "Everett ... do you know what immutable means?" He appeared in the doorway, "No..." So, we looked it up. "It means unchanging. God's promises are immutable," I said. He returned to play. A few minutes later I called, "Everett ... what does immutable mean?" After a moment of silence he answered, "Unchanging."
Everett is just about to turn ten. He has a brilliant mind, and though he claims to be "tired of challenges," he always brightens when presented with one.
We repeated our word game over the course of the day until I knew 'immutable' had been imprinted on his inner dictionary. Now the test will be to see if he can apply that word, with understanding, in his conversations.
We all have inner dictionaries of collected beliefs –– faith words we've heard from church and being with people of similar faith. But being able to apply them - with true understanding - is the test of learning. The belief has to become our own - not just something we've heard.
As a widow, I occasionally struggle with strong feelings of aloneness-especially when I get sick. Recently, I had the flu and felt that overwhelming sense of being alone. I sat on the couch with my half-empty box of tissues feeling quite sorry for myself, and the Lord read my thoughts.
"You are not alone," He whispered.
I wasn't particularly agreeing with Him at the moment so repeated Himself: "Daughter, you are not alone."
I don't know how many times I've had to answer my feelings with that truth over the last decade as a widow (you know you can be in a room full of people and still feel alone?). But every time I rehearse this truth the reality is implanted more firmly on my heart.
The Immutability of God is an attribute that "God is unchanging in his character, will, and covenant promises." God's immutability defines all God's other attributes: God is immutably wise, merciful, good, and gracious.
Applying faith to feelings is like playing our little word game. It's repeating a truth over and over until it imprints itself upon our hearts.
"The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting ..." Psalm 138:8
God so wanted His people to have this immutable hope that He sealed it with an oath! "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast ..." (Hebrews 6:19)
My grandkids love to go to a trampoline park in town to jump. One day I promised my littlest grandson, age 4, that we would go. "When?" he asked excitedly. "Soon," I said. A few minutes later: "Are we going now? When we gonna go?" I reassured him again we would go the minute I finished what I was doing. He tried to wait patiently, but was about to burst. "Are we ever gonna go?"
He needed a little help, so I got out the special socks that I'd saved from our last visit and gave them to him. "See, here are the socks you'll need. Hold on to these for me."
It did the trick. He held those socks, put them on, took them off, and it helped him lay hold of my promise.
God's Word is like those little socks, something tangible He has put in our hands. They help us hold on to who He is, and He says He will do. My grandson put those socks on, took them off, played with the rubber ridges on the bottom, until it was time to receive the reward of his patience.
I won't always be able to keep every promise I make - though I'll try - but we have a God who cannot lie. His counsel is immutable.